[b-hebrew] Language, migration and Jewish identity

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Fri Nov 2 18:55:53 EDT 2007


Jason:

The answer to that is: when was the Pentateuch written and who wrote it?

For those who take the modernist approach, that Torah was written
mostly post-Exile by a group of people with an editor putting it all
together, then there is no evidence either way, and it could be that
Israel adopted Hebrew after the Exodus.

If, on the other hand, those of us in the traditionalist camp are
right, that Moses wrote it about the 15th century BC, then we have to
deal with the conservatism that writing imposes on language. Then the
picture is that Hebrew was the language that Israel had before the
Exodus and for unknown time before it.

I hope this helps.

Karl W. Randolph,

On 11/2/07, ג'ייסון הייר <jaihare at gmail.com> wrote:
> B-Hebrew Chaverim,
>
> I have been in a forum debate somewhere on the 'Net recently about the
> *when* of the adoption of Hebrew. I personally think that Abraham and Sarah
> adopted/acquired Hebrew when they migrated from Mesopotamia, and that their
> children grew up in Canaan with the language. Thus, they carried with them
> to Goshen (assuming the story of the biblical narrative at least true in the
> generalities), continuing their faith in the one God (as Abraham had
> instructed his family) until the time of the Exodus. Thus, it was natural
> that the Torah would be composed in Hebrew in its original kernel (given
> that many here do not think that the Torah was nearly all composed by the
> hand of Moshe Rabbeinu).
>
> The position of my "friend" on the other forum is that the Israelites
> adopted Hebrew only *after* the Exodus. I'm curious to know if there is
> anyone who makes a good point of this in the scholarly community, and also
> if there has been an opposing argument put forward.
>
> תודה רבה לכם
> Jason Hare
> English Teacher
> Rishon LeZion
> Israel


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